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Why People Perpetrate Family Trauma (Part 2)

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

As I discussed in the first part of this series regarding reasons why people abuse their partner, there are numerous causes for it. This is both unfortunate and something that we can’t spend our lives focusing on as family trauma survivors. We have enough healing of our own to do. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s helpful to know why things occur. With this being said, here are a few more of the reasons why people abuse their partner:

· Some people have a mental health issue (e.g., antisocial personality disorder, sociopath, psychopath) and are also sadistic. People with these disorders get pleasure from seeing others who are in pain, especially when they’re the ones who are inflicting it.

· With the advancement of technology young people are frequently exposed to glorified abuse. Much of this programming makes the abuse seem normal.

· They grew up with someone who was in active addiction. This addict blamed others for their destructive behavior and forced their victims to remain silent. Eventually, such family trauma results in a lot of pent-up anger which is one of the reasons why people abuse their partner.

· They have control issues. Since they like to be in charge they’ll use any way possible to maintain control over others. The difference between this and true leadership is that a true leader doesn’t use abusive tactics.

· They have no understanding of boundaries. They see the other person as an extension of themselves thus believing that the other person isn’t entitled to have any boundaries either. This means that the person being abused is at the whim of the abuser.

Looking back at my own family trauma…

At this point, I’d like to say that I honestly believe that both of my parents had control issues and my ex lacked boundaries. All of this can be very confusing for someone, such as myself, who’s living with this type of family trauma. Obviously, these reasons why people abuse others aren’t good reasons nor are they excusable but they are somewhat understandable. What I mean by this is that my mother needed to have control over everything in her environment. You can still see this in the fact that she always made sure that her house looked like it came out of a magazine. On the other hand, my father was passive-aggressive and that can be noticed in how well he was able to do in business.


As for my ex having no boundaries I use to watch as he’d let people support him in his madness. It was like the two became one and usually, it was his mother. He’d lie and tell her what he wanted her to believe, turning her against me. She’d coddle him regardless of what the situation was.


I remember one time when Charles raped me while we were staying in the spare bedroom at his mother’s house. The next day I went to the salon with her and while we were together, I mentioned the rape in no uncertain terms – using the word “rape.” You could even tell that it had happened because I hurt so bad I couldn’t walk properly. Eventually, she told me to stop lying because it never happened. She didn’t even talk to Charles about it or recognize what was in plain sight. Instead, he somehow convinced her that it hadn’t happened then blamed me for everything – the rape and for my “lying.” This is just one of the many occasions when this type of family trauma occurred.

Understanding why people abuse their partners and children…

These are only a few more of the numerous reasons why people perpetuate family trauma. The reasons why people abuse are numerous and we’ll continue to look at them in the next part of this series. I feel that doing so and pointing out how these things affected and impacted my life will hopefully enable you to see whether you or someone you love is being abused. For more information about the cycle of abuse and its effects on people please visit Healing Family Trauma Pittsburgh. And don't forget to check out the last part of this series too.

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